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Atyrau

Kazakhstan

In 2011, Kazakhstan celebrated 20 years of independence and the major role played by the energy sector in the country’s development.

Located in the west of the country, Atyrau is well-known throughout the world as the energy capital of Kazakhstan. Many major oil and gas companies are concentrated in the city, both domestic companies and well-known operators and manufacturers from around the world, including Tengizchevroil, Agip KCO, Chevron Texaco, PFD, Shell, ExxonMobil, WorleyParsons and NCOC.

Atyrau was founded in 1640 and is located in an area of 3500 km², with a population of over 257,000 people. The city is growing and developing day by day: in the past 10 years the number of residents has increased by 31%, and about 50,000 new jobs have been created.

The Atyrau region possesses a wide range of mineral resources, mainly hydrocarbons produced by oil fields with associated gas. The development and establishment of Atyrau is a key part of the country’s oil and gas history. From its roots as a provincial town, Atyrau has become a rapidly growing region, with the production of oil and gas accounting for 40% and 60% respectively of the country’s total production.

In 1911, an oil field of commercial significance was discovered in Dossor. In 1913, the then well-known company Nobel discovered a second oil field in Makat. In 1914, over 200,000 tonnes of crude oil were produced at these fields. Without having any form of transportation the first oil workers transported the extracted oil in special sacks by camel to Khiva and along the shore of the Caspian Sea to the port of Rakushinok for further sale in the market. Later the products were transported by sea from the wharf of Rakusha, where the oil was transported through two pipelines and refined at two small refineries. Local people called these refineries kerosene factories because kerosene was the product most needed by the people for lighting. The refined oil was pumped into barges through a 16 km pipeline laid on the seabed.

Today, the region has major oil and gas fields which are being developed in four districts. Kazakhstan’s State Balance of Reserves for the Atyrau region has 87 hydrocarbon fields, including 66 oil fields and 21 petroleum and gas condensate fields.

Oil production totalled 26.6 million tonnes in 2009 and 30.1 million tonnes in 2010. Gas production amounted to 11.9 billion m³ in 2009 and 13.8 billion m³ in 2010. Today, the main active export routes for Kazakhstan’s oil are the Atyrau-Samara pipeline, and Caspian

Pipeline Consortium’s (CPC) pipeline, which is one of the priority areas for Kazakhstan’s oil exports. Most Kazakh oil in 2009 was exported through the CPC pipeline (27.5 million tonnes), with 17.5 million tonnes exported through the Atyrau-Samara pipeline.

Atyrau is a modern city with rapidly developing infrastructure and cultural life. It hosts major exhibitions and forums, cultural events, and social activities. ***Deserving of special mention are Atyrau Oil and Gas; the North Caspian Regional Atyrau Oil, Gas and Infrastructure Exhibition; and OilTech Atyrau, the Atyrau Regional Petroleum Technology Conference (www.oil-gas.kz/ru/), which are organized by Iteca, part of ITE Group Plc (UK), in Kazakhstan and Central Asia (www.iteca.kz).

In his welcome letter for the exhibition, S. Mynbayev, Minister of Oil and Gas of the Republic of Kazakhstan, says: “Kazakhstan is one of the largest oil-producing powers, where the oil and gas sector efficiently fuels the activity of all the spheres of the country’s economy, with Atyrau being the engine of the oil and gas industry” (for the full letter go to www.oil-gas.kz/en/letters2011). Every year, over 100 companies participate in the exhibition and conference.